Thermal Sciences


A significant portion our thermal sciences research applies to automotive engineering, with a strong focus on developing new, more sustainable technologies. Research topics include areas such as:

  • Combustion
  • Heat and energy transfer
  • Refrigeration
  • Thermoelectric energy

Our researchers work closely with to other departments and programs at U-M including Chemical, Biomedical and Aerospace Engineering and the Applied Physics Program. 


  • National Science Foundation
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


  • Internal combustion
  • Experimental investigation of heat rejection
  • Fire suppression
  • Metal hydride heat pumps and hydrogen storage
  • Hybrid propulsion
  • Computational methods for reacting flows
  • Heat transfer physics
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Photovoltaic energy conversion
  • Reburn and co-firing technologies
  • Pollution mitigation

Recent News

Assistant Professor Bala Chandran's research featured on inside front cover of high impact journal Energy and Environmental Science. 

In collaboration with MSE Professor Jinsang Kim’s group, ME Professor Kevin Pipe’s lab is using molecular design principles to improve thermal conductivity in polymers.

Professor Pipe and a team of U-M researchers have found a way to change plastic's molecular structure, making it as thermally conductive as glass

Students from Meyhofer and Reddy groups observe this phenomenon for the first time at room temperature

The paper is titled "Formation and emission of large furans and oxygenated hydrocarbons from flames"

ME PhD Student Ashley Bielinski wants to take the energy from the Sun and, instead of directly producing electricity as is usually done, aims to convert the energy into a storable fuel